Florida consumers have a broad range of communications choices, according to the Florida Public Service Commission’s (PSC) annual Report on the Status of Competition in the Telecommunications Industry.
“Industry competition has helped consumers reap the benefits of state-of-the-art telecommunications services at affordable prices,” said PSC Chairman Ronald A. Brisé. “Competition is also encouraging companies to create even more innovative services and pricing packages and to invest in telecommunications infrastructure, all very important for Florida’s economic development.”
For the first time since 1995, when Florida’s Legislature began requiring the report, wireline business access lines exceed residential lines. According to the report, incumbent local exchange company (ILEC) wirelines decreased by eight percent from December 31, 2010, with Florida’s three largest ILECs, AT&T, Verizon, and CenturyLink all reporting reductions. Competitive local exchange carriers’ market share of all wireline access lines (residential and business) in Florida increased from 18 to 20 percent in 2011.
The report indicated that wireless and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services now compete with traditional wireline service and represent a significant portion of today’s communications market in Florida. As of June 2011, approximately 17.6 million wireless handsets were in service in the state. Last year, there were an estimated 2.4 million VoIP subscribers in Florida, a 20 percent increase over the 1.9 million estimated in 2010.
Federal Communications Commission statistics in the report show 42 percent of Florida households have a fixed broadband connection with download speeds of at least 3 megabits per second (Mbps) and 73 percent have fixed broadband connections of 200 kilobits per second (kbps) or greater.
Approximately 93 percent of Floridians have some sort of communications service, indicating that “an overwhelming majority of Florida residents are able to afford telephone service.”
Delivered to the Florida Legislature on August 1, the annual PSC telecommunications report compiled data from 290 Florida telecommunications companies for a 12-month period ending December 31, 2011. For the entire report, please go to this PSC Web address: http://www.floridapsc.com/publications/pdf/telecomm/20120730MasterComp.pdf.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.
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